Poverty Awareness Week Campaign; Prosperity Roundtable Celebrates Community

The free events welcome everyone to attend which will kick off with a Flag Raising Ceremony at the Civic Centre TUESDAY 2013 OCT 15 11:30AM followed by an open house at the Chatham Kent Public Library from Noon- 2PM. If transportation is a barrier to attending the event in your community, please contact Danielle@uwock.ca for complementary bus passes or NeighbourLink at 519-352-5647 to pre-arrange a ride. Other library open houses will take place Wednesday Oct 162013 11-1PM in Wheatley and Thursday Oct 17 at 5-7PM in Wallaceburg.

The Prosperity Roundtable is multi-sector community group dedicated to reducing poverty and building the capacity of the community to enhance quality of life for all citizens of Chatham Kent. Public Awareness and Education, a working group of the Prosperity Roundtable, together with community partners is offering open houses at local libraries which includes free food, swag bags, and raffle prizes.   

Prosperity Roundtable of Chatham Kent membership is representative of Chatham-Kent citizens, businesses and community organizations committed to reducing poverty in Chatham-Kent. Co-Ordinator of the Poverty Reduction Roundtable, Danielle Shaw states that “we work collaboratively to create a Chatham Kent that is truly a great place to live, work and play”. Shaw reminds us that “… we are all affected by poverty so it is up to all of us to take action”.  

Access to the Internet is essential for meaningful work, education and community life. This means that it is so important to have accessible use of computers and ongoing computer skills development for everyone in our community. “Chatham Kent Library is a FREE gateway to the many resources available through technology” noted Tania Sharp Manager of Public Services for Chatham Kent Public Library. This is why this years’ Awareness Campaign events are being held at selected Libraries across Chatham Kent.

For more information about the events or The Prosperity Roundtable of Chatham Kent see www.prosperityroundtable.com.  

United Way Chatham-Kent 2013 Goal of $2,200,000

At our Campaign Kick-Off event held this afternoon on Fourth Street in Chatham, United Way Chatham Kent Co-Chairs William Grin and Cecily Coppola gathered their 2013 Cabinet.  They were joined by community supporters, United Way staff, Pacesetter contributors and campaign volunteers to announce the goal for the 2013 Campaign at $2,200,000. 

In an earlier interview, Coppola commented on the 9% increase over last year’s total ($2,045,843).  “United Way Chatham-Kent has changed so much over the past fifteen years.  Their expanding role in effecting community impact and positive social change features a number of important programs and services offered in-house. As they have for 65 years, they continue to support locally, through the Community Fund, 25 Chatham-Kent programs, services and agencies. Together, these efforts touch the lives of one in three people in our community.  

Taken as a whole, that’s a lot of community connecting; a lot of community supports.  In order to ensure the needs of our Funded Agencies and Direct Service Programs are met, United Way is looking to close the gap in funding. In 2012, although we met our target, we were still $200,000 shy of the reported need.  This year we are going to do all we can to close that gap”. 

William Grin is a longtime supporter of United Way, having served for many years on the Board of Directors, the Fund Distribution team and the Cabinet.  “There is no doubt that this challenge – to close the gap in funding needs – is a challenge this generous community can easily understand and will be ready to help with.  Every dollar that is spent on programs and services for prevention of injury, prevention of hunger, prevention of depression and isolation will result in significant savings on treatment services.  Cecily and I have visited these agencies. They understand that by becoming involved earlier they can make lasting differences and positive changes.  We have seen the results and we know their work deserves all of our support.” 

Kick-Off Highlights

Municipal Greetings were offered by Councillor Derek Robertsen.

Pacesetter pledges were offered by William Grin, United Way’s Board and Staff, GreenField Ethanol and Union Gas, Chatham-Kent Amazing Racers and the Sydenham Challenge Dragon Boat Racers, Bushels of Hope supporters Lynn Girty and Leon LeClair, Scotiabank, the Canadian Hearing Society, The Solid Rock Café Youth Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chatham-Kent, Restorative Justice of Chatham-Kent, Family Service Kent, VON, and Chatham-Kent Block Parent Program. 

For information how YOU can participate as an individual, as a volunteer or with your company or organization please contact Cecily Coppola at Cecily@rjck.org (519) 380-0931 ext. 11 or William Grin at (519) 352-9555.  Visit our new and improved website at uwock.ca or email us info@uwock.ca



Launched in 1986 and after 27 years of service to the community’s most vulnerable citizens, the United Way of Chatham-Kent has revamped its signature “Operation Cover-Up” Program to provide a better opportunity for recipients to receive warm winter coats. 

Working with its traditional partners – Chatham-Kent Professional Fire Fighters Association, Chatham-Kent Police Services, Maycourt Club, The Salvation Army, the numerous local dry cleaners … and in consultation with the Prosperity Roundtable … United Way will launch the 2013 program during Prosperity Awareness Week which begins Monday, 2013 OCT 14.  (Details about other events to be held during Prosperity Awareness Week will be announced shortly!) 

This year’s Collection Period – for those individuals wishing to donate coats – will run from Tuesday, 2013 OCT 01 to Tuesday, 2013 OCT 15.  Donors can drop off their gently worn winter coats – especially kids coats and plus sizes, please – to dry-cleaning locations throughout Chatham-Kent (as posted on the attached flyer). 

The Distribution Period – traditionally administered over a four-day period in mid-October – will be extended to nine weeks commencing Tuesday, 2013 OCT 15 and ending Saturday, 2013 DEC 14.  Coats will no longer be distributed from St. Andrews United Church but available at all Salvation Army Thrift Store locations in Chatham, Ridgetown and Wallaceburg plus the Salvation Army Food Bank housed at Blenheim Baptist Church and United Way’s West Chatham-Kent Outreach Office – the Tilbury Information and HELP Centre.  New printed coupons will be provided throughout the network of social services and efforts will be made by program partners to ensure that appropriate sizes are made available at the various distribution locations. 

“This new format will hopefully address a number of issues raised, over the years, by our recipients,” said Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, United Way’s CEO.  “Firstly, we are extending the distribution period from four days to nine weeks to give our families more time to secure a warm winter coat and moving the distribution location from one location to five in order to address issues related to transportation and family schedules.  With any change like this, there will likely be other challenges in trying to accommodate the needs throughout Chatham-Kent.  Our partners are committed to doing their best to protect the dignity of those we serve.” 

This community impact program addresses needs within the following three focus areas, recently adopted by United Way as part of its strategic planning process: From Poverty to Possibility, Strong Communities and All That Kids Can Be. 

For additional information, please contact Volunteer Good Neighbours Program Co-Ordinators, Kathy Martel or Correen Morris at 519-354-0430 or e-mail United Way CEO, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte at karen@uwock.ca


COGECO/TVCOGECO Sponsors Red Feather Video Contest

The 56th Annual Red Feather event is pleased to announce the addition of Cogeco/TVCogeco as a major sponsor. The week-long event organized by local high school ambassadors begins Wednesday, 2013 SEPT 18.  

Cogeco/TVCogeco‘s sponsorship of the event has allowed for the creation of a video contest this year. Using the smartphone application Vine, students are being encouraged to submit a 6 second video clip displaying their school spirit at the different events throughout the week. Students can submit their video at Facebook.com/UnitedWayofChathamKent for a chance to win a Beats Audio headset.

 The generous sponsorship from Cogeco/TVCogeco allows United Way’s Youth Committee to organize activities and pay related costs while saving on campaign donated dollars.  Therefore, the money raised during Red Feather activities can be used to support the 25 programs, services and agencies supported through UWCK’s Community Fund. 

Throughout the week, high schools students will participate in various events including dodgeball, softball, two football games culminating in a tennis tournament on Sunday, 2013 SEPT 22 .  Events include: 


There are two games scheduled for Red Feather.  The first game will be held at CKSS on Friday September 20th and is under the lights beginning at 7p.m.  The second game will be Saturday September 21st at CKSS and begins at 12 noon. 

We’re Also Having A Dodge Ball Tournament and this year’s tournament will be held at Chatham Christian High School on Friday September 20th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 p.m.  This action you won’t want to miss. 

There are many more events and activities planned for Red Feather week.  For a full list of activities, times, locations and costs, please contact Amanda Chartrand (519) 354-0430 or amanda@uwock.ca